The fate of an iconic Lodi grocery store still remains unknown nearly a year after the fires that shut it down.
Three owners of the closed Salisbury’s Market will appear at a preliminary hearing this month for a judge to hear their charges of arson, insurance fraud and grand theft.
Two separate fires occurred inside the Turner Road market in October 2011. One small fire was caused by a leaky gas line, but was contained when the line was shut off.
Later that same day, another fire broke out in the rear of the store near the deli.
The second fire caused severe smoke damage to the interior of the building, and one firefighter injured his hand while he was fighting the blaze.
Lodi Fire Department Division Chief Aimee New said the firefighter was treated for his injury and was back on the job shortly after.
Elk Grove residents and owners Prem Basuta, 47, and his wife Kulwinder “Kelly” Basuta, 48, and Lodi resident Gurmail “Gary” Singh, 55, were arrested in connection with the fire. They were booked at the Lodi jail on May 26 and released.
The trio pleaded not guilty at an arraignment on June 13.
All three suspects are set for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 15.
Michael Farley, attorney for the Basutas and Singh, did not return repeated requests for comment on Tuesday.
In March, Susan Batty, property manager for Woodlake Plaza, confirmed that repair work was nearly complete.
Over the summer, construction crews from RDK Construction worked to install updated freezers and reconstruct some sections of the store. Based on the number of repairs needed, the project’s finish date was projected as mid-October or early November.
Today, however, the store remains shuttered.
“We are not ready to open up,” Batty said. “There’s really nothing to tell at this time.”
Batty said the store is still in the process of renovation. They have determined the cost of the damages but are not releasing the number.
Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at firstname.lastname@example.org.